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Posted at 8:27 AM ET, 01/ 5/2011

The Circuit: New Congress means new Twitter handles, Internet news gains on TV, hackers use fake White House Christmas card

By Hayley Tsukayama

LEADING THE DAY: It's the first day of the new Congress, so update your Twitter follows and lists accordingly. As the Hill reported Wednesday morning, the new speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner, is now "SpeakerBoehner" on the microblogging site. Those looking for Rep. Eric Cantor on Twitter can now find him at "GOPLeader" having handed "GOPWhip" off to Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

Meanwhile, Rep. Nancy Pelosi has changed her Twitter handle from "SpeakerPelosi" to "NancyPelosi."

Use the #tcot, or Top Conservatives on Twitter, hashtag today to keep up with the incoming Republican majority.

Internet news closing in on TV: Sixty-five percent of Americans 18 to 29 list the Internet as their main source of news, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Most Americans, 68 percent, say television is still their main source of news, but that's down from 82 percent in 2002.

Hackers use fake White House Christmas Card: Hackers went after military, law enforcement and other political targets by sending a fake e-mail Christmas card from the White House last week. As the AP reports, hackers sold several gigabytes of data, though none of it seems to have been classified information.

IRS enforces new online privacy, security standards: Preparing for tax season, the Internal Revenue Service has begun enforcing new privacy standards for online providers of individual tax returns. As the Boston Globe reported Monday, most of the requirements are in place to keep information from IRS 3-file and other online tax returns secure. They also are intended to prevent the bulk-filing of fraudulent tax returns.

Estonia considers drafting the tech-savvy: In an effort to combat cyber attacks, the country of Estonia has created a volunteer Cyber Defense League comprising programmers, software engineers and computer scientists. In 2007, Estonia's government suffered from a series of cyber attacks originating in Russia that crippled the country. Planning for the future, they created the volunteer force of techies-- a full-fledged unit that would "function under a unified military command" in wartime.

The country is also mulling a conscript force pulled from the country's IT departments, which Time's Techland calls the "nerd army." The conscript idea exists only in theory at the moment, but Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo mentioned it to NPR this week as a possibility.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 5, 2011; 8:27 AM ET
 
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